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Trust

Trust

A Seychelles International Trust is a useful vehicle for asset protection and efficient tax planning.

A Trust is a private legal agreement (Trust Deed) between the individual who places his/her assets in the Trust (Settlor) and the individual or corporation entrusted with the protection, management, and ultimate distribution of the assets (Trustee) for the persons entitled to benefit from the capital assets and/or income held under the agreement (Beneficiaries).

Seychelles International Trusts are set up under the International Trusts Act, 1994. Under Seychelles trust law, an international trust may be created in writing, by will or by oral declaration

The main benefits of a Seychelles Trust fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Strong Asset Protection
  • Privacy/Confidentiality
  • Flexibility
  • Can be part of business company structure
  • Investment and Real Estate ownership and administration
  • Efficient Tax Planning,
  • Charitable purposes, and
  • Substitution of Wills and Testaments

Strong Asset Protection

Trusts are widely used for the protection of assets from the claims of actual or potential creditors. In Seychelles, the International Trusts Act 1994 makes specific provision that notwithstanding the provisions of any bankruptcy or liquidation laws in Seychelles or in any other country, and notwithstanding the fact that the trust is voluntary and without consideration, unless it is proven to the Court that the trust was made with intent to defraud persons who, at the time when the payment or transfer of assets was made to the trust, were creditors of the settlor, the trust shall not be void or voidable. The law specifies that the burden of proof of such an intent on the part of the settlor lies with the creditors seeking to annul the transfer made to a Seychelles International Trust. Moreover, such an action must be instituted by the creditors within two years from the date of transfer or disposal. This legislative provision effectively insulates the trust assets from creditors whilst limiting the time period within which they can bring any such claim to court

Flexibility

A trust provides a confidential and flexible way in which an individual can decide how their assets are to pass on death. Many countries have what we call “forced heirship” laws which govern how assets pass to relatives on death. An individual may want to circumvent these laws and decide for himself the proportions in which his assets will pass, or the special provisions he will make for a needy or disabled relative, or a gift he may wish to pass to a friend or a charitable institution. A trust is a good way of overcoming forced heirship laws thus permitting the settlor to dispose of his assets in the way he chooses in utmost confidentiality. In Seychelles, provision is made in the 1994 International Trusts Act that the Inheritance Law of any country shall in no way affect any transfer or disposition made to a Seychelles International Trust and the validity of such transfer shall not be challenged.

Tax Planning

Many persons turn to trusts as a way of mitigating income, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. In Seychelles the International Trusts Act 1994 provides that the income and gains of an international trust derived from sources outside Seychelles shall be exempted from all kinds of tax in Seychelles and no estate duty shall be chargeable in respect of assets belonging to an international trust. In fact the only charge payable to the Registry in respect of an international trust is a one-off stamp duty payable when the trust is created. 

Privacy / Confidentiality

Confidentiality is ensured as disclosure of any information or document relating to an international trust is strictly prohibited by law, except under an injunction of the Seychelles Supreme Court for the purpose of an inquiry or trial into or relating to the trafficking of narcotics and dangerous drugs, arms trafficking or money laundering or under a direct prescription of Seychelles written laws.

According to the International Trust (amendment) act, 2011 there is a requirement to keep a register of trustees, beneficials and settlors of the Trust (the International Trust Register), but it is kept confidentially by a Trustee and is not filed with any Seychelles Government Registry. Besides there is no requirement to file, with any Seychelles Government Registry, Trust Deed or any other details of the settlor or the beneficiaries (except for any beneficiaries who are Seychellois citizens).

Key Features

General
Type of entity International Trust
Type of law Follow English law/As per Trust Deed
Our time to establish a Trust Maximum 2 weeks
Government fees (including tax) US $ 115 (one-off)
Taxation of trust assets None
Double Taxation Treaty access No
Change of Domicile permitted Yes
Limitation period for action against Trustee 2 years from date of establishment of trust
Duration 100 years (except: charitable international trust or a purpose international trust)
Restriction on Investment of Trust asset No
Exchange control None
Succession As per Trust Deed
Settlor Must be non resident of Seychelles
Property No property situated in Seychelles can be part of the Trust asset
Jurisdiction Seychelles Supreme Court
Forced heirship applicable No
Trust asset
Restriction on type/amount No, except property situated in Seychelles
Trustee
Minimum number at least 1 corporate 
Qualification at least 1 shall be a company licensed under the Seychelles International Corporate Service Providers Act to provide international trustee services
Accounts
Requirement to keep accounting records Yes
Requirement to file No
Publicly accessible No
Confidentiality
  • No filing of Trust Deed with Seychelles FSA (Financial Services Authority) required
  • Trust register is not accessible to public
  • Regulator for the sole purpose of monitoring and assessing compliance with the International Trust act may inspect the documents to be kept by the trustee in relation to the International Trust, but the inspector is burdened with non-disclosure obligations.

Step 1 – Name Approval

Name approval is requested from FSA and approval is given almost immediately or at the latest within 24 hours.

There are no restrictions to the name to be given to a Trust, but the Registrar has the discretion to refuse the name if it is indecent, offensive or is otherwise objectionable or misleading

Step 2 – Fill in Questionnaire or Provide details of future Trust

Clients can either fill in the Application form or send us details by fax or e-mail.

Details should include the following: Purpose of the Trust, a short description of the Trust assets - actual and/or eventual, details and number of Trustees, the names and the details of the Beneficiaries, disbursement of trust assets.

Step 3 – Draft or Review Trust Deed

We can either draft the Trust Deed or review the one which is submitted to us.

Step 4 – The parties sign the Trust Deed

Step 5 – Registration of Trust with FSA and payment of Government fee

We register a Declaration of Trust with FSA and a reference number by which the Trust will be known is given by FSA.

It normally takes FSA a maximum of 24 hours to register a Declaration of Trust.

Once FSA confirms that the Trust has been registered we advise the client and send the letter received from FSA.

Preliminary stage

Advice on the Trust structure                                                

$200[1]

 

Formation costs (1st year)

Registration of the Trust (including drafting and vetting of the Trust Deed)

$1000[2]

Trustee fee 1st year

$1500

Trustee administration fee (on gross trust assets which exceed US $ 50,000)

0.2%

TOTAL (1st year) from

$2700

 

Annual costs

Trustee fee

$1600

Trustee administration fee (on gross trust assets which exceed US $ 50,000)

0.2%

TOTAL per annum from 2nd year from

$1600

 

Others

1.Courier dispatch service

$100

2. Drafting documents (per page)

$25

3. Changing name of the Trust

$400

4. Opening of bank account

$600

5. Report to beneficiaries

$100 per hour

6. Legalisation of documents by Apostille

$100

7. Variation of trust deed

$100 per hour

8. Legal proceedings

$100 per hour

9. Termination of the trust

$1000

[1] This is a basic fee and we reserve the right to change it depending on the complexity and time spent on the advice.

[2] This is a basic fee and additional fees may be changed as a result of the time spent and work involved in forming the Trust.

 

Seychelles business FAQ

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  • What a Seychelles IBC cannot do?
    1. It may not carry on business in Seychelles.
    2. It may not own real estate in Seychelles.
    3. It may not do banking, insurance and registered agent business without special license.
  • What are the guarantees of strict confidentiality in the Seychelles?
    We understand and respect our clients’ confidentiality requirements. Seychelles IBC in this respect is an ideally apt solution.

    The only documents of your company that are being kept on public record are the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association, thus providing the confidentiality of an outstandingly high standard.

    Moreover, the information regarding directors, shareholders, beneficial owners, addresses, etc are kept in the Registered office, under no circumstance will be revealed, unless your company is involved in illegal activities and there was an order from the Court to disclose the information.

  • What are the appropriate endings for different types of companies?
    The name of a limited company shall end with a word or abbreviation denoting a corporate body or limited liability. The most popular name-endings include any of words like "Limited", "Corporation" or "Incorporated"; the words "Societe Anonyme" or "Sociedad Anonima"; the abbreviation "Ltd", "Corp", "Inc", "GmbH", "AG" or "S.A."; or several other word or words, or abbreviations thereof.
  • How long does it take to register a Seychelles IBC?
    Seychelles has one of the fastest Registries of International Business Companies in the world. New IBCs are usually incorporated within 24 hours.
  • What can a Seychelles IBC Do?
    Your IBC can act in many ways, for example it can:
    • Open a bank account, make deposits and transact globally.
    • Manage offshore investments such as term deposits, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc.
    • Provide consulting, management, or professional services
    • Own a Corporate credit card, and allow you to cover your legitimate expenses using it.
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